Provenance: Thomas Jefferson; by descent to Virginia and Nicholas Philip Trist; by descent to Charles B. Eddy, Jr.; by bequest to Mrs. Charles B. Eddy, Jr. (who subsequently became Mrs. Joseph C. Cornwall); by gift to the Thomas Jefferson Foundation in 1988
Accession Number: 1964-36-1; 1988-2
Created: ca. 1785
Materials: Painted Beech
Dimensions: 34 × 22 1/4 × 20 in.
Provenance: Thomas Jefferson; by purchase to John A.G. Davis at the Dispersal Sale in 1827; by gift to Martha Jefferson Minor; by descent to Mrs. Jacqueline A. Caskie; by sale to [1946-3-2] William MacCorkle and [1946-3-1] Mrs. Hollins N. Randolph; by purchase to Thomas Jefferson Foundation
Accession Number: 1946-3-1; 1946-3-2
Historical Notes: Two pairs of related unstamped and unattributed fauteuils are known from a suite of eighteen chairs that Jefferson probably used in the dining room and adjacent petit salon in the Hôtel de Langeac.1 These chairs, typical of the Louis XVI period, may have been made by Jacques Upton, who made a great deal of furniture for Jefferson. Upton, a menuisier, was made a master in 1782 and had a shop on the rue de Chaillot not far from the Hôtel de Langeac.2
Jefferson's original set was comprised of ten chaises, six large fauteuils, and two bergères, all upholstered in silk, presumably damask. These two pairs of armchairs feature trapezoidal and oval backs and deeply fluted legs, arms, and crest rail. At Monticello, they may have been used in the Parlor or family sitting room.
One of these chairs, with a slightly curving oval back, was the last chair in which Jefferson sat before he died. Immediately after his death on July 4, 1826, his grandson-in-law, Nicholas P. Trist, carved Jefferson's initials in the inside of the chair's left arm. Another chair like it is in Monticello's collection.
1. Grevin packing list, July 17, 1790, William Short Papers, Library of Congress. See also the note following Short to Jefferson, November 7, 1790, in PTJ, 18:35-39n. The editorial note, explaining and summarizing the items on the packing list, is available at Founders Online.